Proteas bowler Kagiso Rabada has been cleared to play in the next two Tests against Australia after having his suspension overturned.
The 22-year-old Rabada was given the sanction after being found guilty of making contact with Australia captain Steve Smith’s shoulder during the second Test at St George’s Park in Port Elizabeth.
We take a look at what has transpired between the incident with Smith and his ban being overturned.
Rabada traps Steve Smith lbw to dismiss him for 25 in the first innings of the second Test at St George’s Park. While celebrating, the Proteas seamer makes contact with the departing Steve Smith. Rabada rips through the Australian batting lineup, and finishes the first innings with bowling figures of 5-96.
The following day, Rabada is charged by Kumar Dharmasena and Chris Gaffaney, the standing umpires during the Test. Due to his disciplinary record, Rabada is charged with a Level 2 breach of the ICC Code of Conduct, which comes with a maximum sentence of a 100% match fee fine, and between three and four demerit points. As he was sitting on five demerit points when the series began, it is speculated that Rabada could be suspended for the remainder of the series. The hearing was initially set to take place at the end of play on day two, but had to be moved to day three after Gaffaney was struck down by a stomach bug.
The first hearing into the matter lasts an hour. Both captain Faf du Plessis and manager Dr Mohammed Moosajee are present.
Rabada is charged once again, this time for a send-off offence for the way he celebrated the wicket of Australia’s David Warner. Rabada is on fire that day and rips through the Australian batting order and picks up six wickets in the second innings as South Africa win by six wickets. He finishes the game with figures of 11-150. At the press conference after the game, he admits that he let his team down. He is later found guilty of the first charge, and suspended for two games.
Rabada is confirmed as the world’s best bowler after moving to the top of the ICC rankings.
Cricket South Africa announce that Rabada will appeal the decision to suspend him for the remainder of the series. CSA also announce that Advocate Dali Mpofu has been appointed to act on Rabada’s behalf.
A tweet from Vernon Philander’s official account accuses Aussie captain Smith of ‘diving’ like a soccer player. Philander later claims his Twitter account was hacked.
The ICC announces that Michael Heron QC of New Zealand has been appointed as the judicial commissioner, and that 19 March is set as the date Rabada’s appeal will be heard.
The hearing in Cape Town lasts for six hours. When it’s concluded, Rabada joins his teammates for training.
Rabada is cleared to take part in the third and fourth Tests.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images